Never be afraid to get dirty, but be sufficiently sure-footed to avoid the abyss of contamination.

Conversations with Myself

An oft-heard phrase in conversation: “If I could just talk to the person I was five years ago, I would have told myself to do ab, and c differently!” The conventional wisdom is that people grow and mature with time. The experiences one has gained will help that person better handle future situations and may even have been helpful in dealing with problems in the past. Imagine the benefits of having a conversation with a younger version of yourself! In the Beckett play Krapp’s Last Tape, Krapp, who has been listening to recordings of himself from years gone by, observes:

Just been listening to that stupid bastard I took myself for thirty years ago, hard to believe I was ever as bad as that.

The conventional wisdom doesn’t always hold. It is easy to lose perspective, and the wisdom of one’s experiences may sometimes be lost in the day-to-day issues a person faces. Indeed, Krapp is an emotionally constipated character (get it? crap!), who doesn’t appear to have grown from experience.

Would there ever be a benefit to talking to a past version of oneself? That’s hard to say, but there might a benefit to listening. During moments of introspection, I read past entries of this blog to gain inspiration, mitigate doubt, motivate myself, or simply reminisce about the past. During those moments, the author of those posts often has a healthier perspective than I do (I would know!), so the advice is easy to trust.

On a tangential note, it can be somewhat of a challenge to sustain technical writing over long periods, and new entries for this long-neglected blog seem like a fruitful way to take a break. Expect more posts to follow shortly, and Happy Independence Day!

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One response

  1. Pingback: Repeating Myself « Dirty Hands

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